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A Virtual Workforce Can Provide a Competitive Edge

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Virtual workforces are becoming larger than ever and even office-based workers use virtual tools on a daily basis. The right talent may not live in the city where the business needing their skills exists and the high cost of relocating can be very impractical. It can be difficult to sell a home in one location to purchase another in today’s economy. Perhaps a spouse is comfortable in a professional career in which he or she has invested years and pressure to move to another city may cause the loss of a very capable and affordable employee. These situations and others like them are helping drive the increase in the virtual workforce. 

Brandman Univresity commissioned Forrester Consulting to perform a study to research whether or not companies can gain a competitive edge by embracing the virtual workforce. The study, entitled “Virtual Work Environment in a Post-Recession Era” included top leaders and hiring managers in companies employing 5,000 employees or more that are hiring new employees. The results indicated embracement of virtual teams, defined as people working as a team on a project. Survey respondents said that 40% or more of their company’s employees work in virtual teams and more than half are expected to work virtually in the next few years.

Companies that work in virtual teams develop a camaraderie using digital tools for celebrations and “virtual high fives”. While not every person finds remote work to be their forte, it works very well for many talented workers.  Many companies today allow employees to work remotely either part-time or full-time.  

WorkSimple released an infographic about remote or virtual work, revealing some interesting facts. Over 60% of companies believe more telecommuting will be allowed during the next three years and 56% think that employees are more productive if allowed to telecommute. the median age of the telecommuting employee is 40, negating the assumption that most of the virtual workforce are younger people entering careers. More men than women work remotely, a rather surprising fact since many people think that “home working moms” is the bulk of the virtual workforce. Most virtual employees have a college education. 

The benefits of embracing virtual workforces are clear. Workers can live where they wish and still report to an office on the other side of the globe using virtual tools. Even office-based workers use virtual teaming tools daily such as instant messaging, text messages and teleconferencing. To stay on the competitive edge, study how moving into the world of the virtual workforce and help your company earn more profit and keep happier employees. 

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